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Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules by Jeff Johnson

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Chapter 5. Our Color Vision is Limited

Human color perception has both strengths and limitations. Many of those strengths and limitations are relevant to user interface design:

  • Our vision is optimized to detect contrasts (edges), not absolute brightness.

  • Our ability to distinguish colors depends on how colors are presented.

  • Some people have color-blindness.

  • The user’s display and the viewing conditions affect color perception.

To understand these qualities of human color vision, let’s start with a brief description of how the human visual system processes color information from the environment.

How Color Vision Works

If you took introductory psychology or neurophysiology in college, you probably learned that the retina at the back of the human eye—the ...

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